HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Living in a freelance world: Labour market pressures on Singapore soften

Singapore, along with Australia are the biggest markets for freelance work in the APAC region.

Singapore's massive freelance employment, currently the biggest in the Asia Pacific, has helped ease labour pressures on its economy, Hays Singapore revealed.

Singapore’s score for the Hays Global Index hit 4.3 in 2017, indicating that it has a "highly flexible" labour market. The score has fluctuated from a high of 5.1 in 2012, to a low of 4.1 in 2014, an increase to 4.7 in both 2015 and 2016.

It is currently the second lowest score in the region along with Hong Kong. China currently has the lowest score at 4.0 with Japan the highest at 5.7.

The Hays Global Skills Index scores each country based on the pressures present in its labour market. An overall score of above 5.0 indicates the labour market is tighter than normal, whilst a score below 5.0 implies that the market is looser than normal.

Contributing to the dip in this year's score is the "talent mismatch" indicator that was 6.1 last year and is now 5.9.

However, a gloomy future that looms ahead for the city is expected to pull its score up again.

Hays said Singapore bears a rapidly ageing population and some labour market pressures due to the stringent work visa measures in place on foreign nationals, which restricts the entry of skilled foreign workers into the country.

Hays Singapore managing director Lynne Roeder commented, “Organisations will need to get better at aligning talent with opportunity. Organisations can stand still and face the consequences later or adapt to changing circumstances and come out unscathed when it comes to sourcing local and qualified talent."

She added, "They will need to look differently at how they source talent whether that’s investment in new technology or introduce measures that sees current and potential employees undergo ‘upskilling’ where appropriate to ensure they also can adapt to meet new challenges. This will of course require buy-in from individuals to adapt to the ever changing world of work in Singapore."

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